THERE are few handicapped car-licence holders and the reason for this is not their disability, but the simple fact that most cannot afford to learn to drive.
“They are largely not well-off,” said Mr Wong Kam-moon. “They can't afford the cost of learner fees and owning car.” Mr Wong is the Development Officer of the Hongkong Federation of Handicapped Youth.
He said learning to drive can be as easy to the handicapped as it is to the able-bodied.
“But disabled needs the approval of a registered doctor. He must also use an assimilated car approved by the Transport Department.”
The project to help the disabled obtain a driving licence - (by providing them with an assimilated car and an experienced instructor) - was started by the Rev. Father Lawrence Yao, a disabled priest. It has been taken over by the Federation since November.
These cars have automatic transmission systems to control the brakes and clutch by hand. It cost about $2,000 to make these conversions.
The Transport Department will be issuing two licences for qualified disable drivers to teach other handicapped.
A spokesman for the Transport Department said there are now 800 disabled holding driving licences. The department started issuing these licence three years ago.
“The disabled wifi be treated in exactly the same way as the able-bodied in driving test,” he added.